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Huckabee takes a slap at Romney

December 7, 2007 |  3:46 pm

DES MOINES -- The political news Thursday was dominated by Mitt Romney's semi-channeling of John F. Kennedy as he sought to lay aside concerns by some -- particularly evangelical Christians -- about his Mormon faith. A raft of our colleagues wrote about the speech here.

But missed in all of the post-speech hullabaloo was a well-delivered shot by Mike Huckabee, currently surfing a wave of support to the top tier of the Republican field of candidates. In an interview with CNN's Glenn Beck last night, Beck asked Huckabee, who cut his public-speaking teeth as an evangelical Christian pastor -- whether he could vote for a Mormon as president.

Huckabee swerved around the question and broadsided Romney -- without naming him -- over what many consider his core vulnerability, a history of shifting positions.

''You know, I don't know that that would be an impediment, but what I really want to do is I want [to vote] for somebody whose views are not just compatible with mine but whose views are compatible with their views. I want somebody to be consistent. I want someone whose compass points north and always has. I don't care if a person disagrees with me. Quite frankly, Glenn, I can live with someone who is 180 degrees different from me. I just want him to look me in the eye and tell me, 'This is what I believe.' Not because the political winds are blowing this way....''

"...[C]haracter has often been described and defined as ... who you are when nobody else is looking. And I think that's so important. People are looking for authenticity in their leaders. Not perfection. Because none of us can provide that. None of us can be perfect. But we can be authentic.''

Ouch.

UPDATE: Looks like the pastor was prescient rather than reactive. Although this interview aired Thursday night and the online transcript linked above is dated Dec. 6, some of our eagle-eyed commenters point out that the interview apparently took place several weeks ago. Which, frankly, makes Huckabee's comments all the more interesting.

-- Scott Martelle

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